The Nighthawks scored the game's first 10 points but fell behind in the second quarter
Everything seemed to be going Hanover's way for the first three minutes Tuesday.
Taking on York Catholic at home, the Nighthawks scored the game's first 10 points, all courtesy of senior Kyle Krout. They looked confident and in control, and their fans were enjoying every second of it.
But the Fighting Irish quickly flipped the script, outscoring the Nighthawks by 19 points the rest of the half on their way to a 69-58 victory. The win gave York Catholic (8-2) sole possession of first place in YAIAA Division III.
Afterward, Hanover coach Nathan Myers had a brief explanation of what went wrong for his team.
"We won the first three minutes and the rest belonged to York Catholic, quote, end quote," Myers said. "They made an adjustment, tightened up their defense, we backed up and played on our heels."
Along with tightening up their defense, the Irish used a balanced attack of outside-shooting and inside-scoring that Hanover (9-2) was never able to completely defend. Andrew Forjan, D'Andre Davis and Eddie Smith combined to hit eight 3-pointers, while center Melik Martin scored 11 points and was a force in the paint all night.
But what really hurt Hanover was its inability to get consistent scoring from anyone other than Krout. The senior scored 27 points but received little help from teammates for most of the game. Hunter Martz chipped in with 13 points, but scored nine of them in the final minutes with the outcome already decided.
"Early on, though, we tried to get other guys looks but they weren't falling for whatever reason," Myers said. "So we keep trying. You get back on the bike and get ready to go."
Things started to go south for Hanover early in the second quarter, when Forjan hit a short jumper to give York Catholic its first lead of the game. The Fighting Irish finished the half on a 16-5 run that gave them a nine-point lead at halftime.
Not much changed in the second half, as the Fighting Irish hit four 3-pointers and went into the fourth quarter up by 16 points. They would extend their lead to 21 in the fourth before Hanover made things closer down the stretch.
"We're pretty tough to stop because we're athletic and we're deep," York Catholic coach Blaine Claiborne said. "I watched tape and I saw that as (Krout) goes they go. We've got more depth and guys. Andrew can score, D'Andre and Malik can score, so we're deep and we're aggressive. It's going to be hard for one guy to beat us."
Myers said he hoped his players weren't overly impacted by the pressure of playing for first place in the division, something that was clearly on the minds of York Catholic's players.
According to York Catholic's Andrew Forjan (17 points), the Fighting Irish came into Tuesday looking to prove they were the best team in Division III.
"That was obviously the mindset," Forjan said. "And they're close to us in district rankings. To control the division is huge for us. This win shows us that we can play with anybody."
York Catholic (69)
Andrew Forjan 6 2-2 17, D'Andre Davis 5 3-6 15, Melik Martin 4 3-7 11, Smith 3 0-0 9, Derowski 2 4-6 8, Echevaria 0 1-2 1, Nigro 2 0-0 4, Bauhof 1 0-0 2, Ellis 1 0-0 2, Castellanos 0 0-0 0, McNamara 0 0-0 0. Totals — 24 13-23 69
Kyle Krout 10 4-4 27, Hunter Martz 4 2-2 13, McQueen 2 3-6 8, Hart 0 1-2 1, Hill 1 2-2 4, Bowman 1 0-0 3, Dominguez 1 0-0 2, Kenworthy 0 0-0 0, Oliveras 0 0-0 0, Ehrhart 0 0-1 0, Keeney 0 0-0 0, Mede 0 0-0 0 Totals — 19 12-17 58.
York Catholic _ 8 _ 20 _ 23 _ 18 _ — _ 69
Hanover _ 12 _ 7 _ 16 _ 23 _ — _ 58
3-point goals — York Catholic 8 (Forjan 3, Smith 3, Davis 2) Hanover 8 (Martz 3, Krout 3, Bowman, McQueen).